Monday, 20 July 2020 09:25

Sprayers aimed at reducing costs and enhancing productivity

Written by  Mark Daniel
John Deere’s 4-Series self-propelled sprayers feature several changes over existing models. John Deere’s 4-Series self-propelled sprayers feature several changes over existing models.

Now available to order, John Deere’s 4-Series self-propelled sprayers for 2021 feature several changes over existing models.

These include the roll-out of John Deere’s CommandDrive all-wheel drive system to the R4038 and R4030 models (already available on R4045 and R4060). Additional enhancements include the optional carbon fibre boom across the entire range.

John Deere production and precision ag tactical segment manager, Marko Koelln, says the updates would further boost producers’ ability to apply the right product at the right rate and the right time. 

“Through these changes, John Deere is not only providing optimised operator comfort but also helping to ensure we’re working with our customers to integrate features that have direct impact on their bottom line.” 

CommandDrive allows operators to travel over hills, wet spots and soft ground. The design featuring an intelligent powertrain that uses a single hydrostatic pump to power all four variable-displacement wheel motors. 

If one or more wheels lose traction, the system adjusts to slow the slipping wheel and directs more flow to the other wheels with traction to power the sprayer over the terrain.

In addition, the system works in tandem with the engine and entire sprayer system to automatically increase RPMs, when more power is needed and to maintain proper spraying rates. An Auto Mode setting allows operators to maintain selected ground speed and application rate at lower engine RPMs. This automatically reduces the engine’s RPM to 900 when the machine is stopped, reducing fuel consumption by up to 20%.

Another popular option is ExactApply. This is an industry-exclusive nozzle that minimises overlap by controlling product application with individual nozzles rather than the whole section. 

Meanwhile, AutoTrac Vision and RowSense options offer a higher degree of accuracy for in-row crop applications using a camera or paddles. 

Enhancements to the carbon fibre boom option include new T6 and T7 rope design, an additional breakaway bumper for more stability, new breakaway strap wear plate and new breakaway solenoid design to improve fold functionality. 

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Lely offerings for the future

Dutch robotic specialist Lely launched a new farm management application called Horizon at its recent Future Farm Days 2020.

Designed to connect data from a range of on-farm equipment and suppliers into one management system, it creates a real-time decision-support platform, to make the farmer’s life easier, the herd healthier and the farm more profitable, says Lely.

Developed over a 24-month period, with over 100 test farmers in seven countries, working with 75 engineers, designers, farm management advisors, veterinarians and AI specialists, the new application will eventually replace the current Lely T4C management system. It uses smart algorithms and the cloud to deliver data that is processed into actionable information that is always accessible on any device in a user-friendly way.

Lely claims the Horizon application unburdens farmers from routine decision making and helps them optimise their workloads, using integrated routines based on easily scheduled cow ‘touches’, create logical and more efficient workflows. It is also possible to assign a certain task to an employee and to schedule a time slot for the cow touch, rather than analysing different reports and filtering long lists.

Horizon is also able to connect and combine data from non-Lely sources into a complete solution for the farmer removing the need to enter the same data twice, while scrutinising individual data streams in different applications will no longer be necessary. Currently, connections with farming applications such as Dairy Comp, Uniform-Agri, CRV and Herde already enable farmers to synchronise information about calving and inseminations between applications. Lely’s ambition is to connect with more partners over time, to hand the farmer more smart data.

To ensure full support in the migration to Lely Horizon, existing Lely T4C customers will be personally informed by their Lely Center before the end of 2020.

The migration is planned in a phased approach, from country to country, over the year 2021.

Also launched at the event, Lely Exos is an autonomous concept for harvesting and feeding fresh grass to the herd.

The company suggests that feeding fresh grass makes better use of available roughage, suggesting “fresh” has between 10 and 20% more nutritional value than grass silage, as there are minimal losses typically seen during mowing, tedding, raking, harvesting and feeding.

Lely suggests that feeding fresh grass over an extended season reduces the amount of silage that has to be conserved, reduces the need for concentrates and bought-in feed and increase the margin made on each litre of milk produced.

Based around an all-electric vehicle that mows and feeds, Exos is light weight and uses soil friendly technology, that can be exploited throughout the growing season. Design to work 24/7 as feed requirements change, the system places no constraints on labour or time, while it is also designed to work in tandem with the Lely Vector automatic feeding systems.

In operation, Exos also collects field data as it goes about its job, giving framers live data on grass supply and lending itself to a further concept of delivering a targeted liquid fertiliser as it passes over a harvested area.

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